- I was thrilled to count at least ten black swifts hawking insects
above the Cross Mountain Trailhead (Dolores Co.) a couple miles south
of Lizard Head Pass in the San Juan Mtns. yesterday, August 11,
between 5:45 and 6:30 PM. They were still present when I left at
6:30. It was difficult to get an accurate count, because they were
swirling about in several different directions, and by the time I
sorted them out from the few swallows also present, I would lose
track of which birds I had counted and which I had not. I confirmed
at least ten swifts present, but I believe there were a dozen or more.
Viewing was excellent when they sometimes passed low over my head.
At other times they were quite high or would move off to the east or
south down the valley for awhile.
A dozen or so mountain bluebirds were also hawking insects
presumably the same insects that the swifts were eating.
Today, between 3:00 and 3:15 PM, no swifts were present, though a
light shower had just gone through, so maybe that had knocked the
insects down, and so maybe the swifts had gone in search of easier
pickings somewhere else.
I have never seen so many black swifts together before, nor have I
ever been able to study them so easily and for so long. I was so
excited that I wanted to flag cars down on the highway just to be
able to share the spectacle with somebody! I didn't, of course, but
I when I finally got a chance to point them out to a few nonbirders,
they just could not appreciate the experience!
John Bregar -- Durango
Three Black Swifts were doing courtship flights near the Nucla sewer ponds last evening. I suspect the swifts are from the San Juans. We have had heavy rains in the area and that brings the swifts down to lower elevation. The courtship behavior seems a little late, however.
I was out there looking for Lesser Nighthawks. I may have seen a single male but the nighthawk was far away and light conditions were not great.
- Greetings,While working a plot in Tuttle Creek (Canyon), I watched two Black Swifts flying the cliffs. As I watch and thought I was being fooled by light conditions a pair of White-throated Swifts came into view and the white was really obvious. Upon getting more views as the swifts (both species) passed by several more times, the flight pattern and wing motion was studied and was noticeably different.The date, 20 May, is a record early date for BLSW but only by one day. I wonder if these swifts are headed on to the northwest or has the Telluride swifts arrived.Watching the sky for several more minutes a single male Purple Martin was seen in the same area. Tuttle Creek confluences with the San Miguel River about half way between Naturita and Uravan from the east.Over the last couple of days Western Wood-Pewees and Blue Grosbeaks are coming but they sure are slow this spring.Good birding,Coen